Category Archives: Android

WinZip application interface on an Android phone

How to Open and Create ZIP Files on Android

If you’ve ever tried to open a .zip file on a smartphone or tablet, chances are you were turned down with an error message of some sort. And God forbid you need to email a large number of photos to someone — that’s when you’re stuck tediously sending only four or five images at a time. Surprisingly, the world’s most popular compressed file format doesn’t play well with mobile devices, and native support for these file types is extremely limited. Thankfully the saying “there’s an app for that” remains truer than ever, and all you really need is a top-notch application to do the legwork.

Those of a certain age will instantly think of WinZip when it comes to unzipping compressed files. WinZip software is still the easiest to navigate with the most intuitive features for archiving and exporting ZIP files. Because it offers the best interface and the most robust set of features for a free app (available for both Android and iOS devices), we will we using WinZip today to open and create ZIP files from our mobile devices.

To begin, you’ll need to download WinZip from the Google Play Store. WinZip is a free application for Android that offers in-app purchases to remove ads and unlock additional features. These additional features include:

  • Create and open password-protected .zip/.zipx files with AES128 or AES256 encryption
  • Dropbox integration to create, save, and open files from Dropbox
  • Unzip and view the contents of .zipx and RAR files
  • Gain instant access to the Zip & Email feature
    *Attempting to use any of the features listed above with the free version of the app will prompt an upgrade ad to purchase the full version.

Part 1) Opening ZIP Files

More often than not, the need to open and extract the contents of a ZIP file comes from email, so that’s where we’ll begin. Access the email attachment with the compressed file and save the ZIP file to your downloads. In this example, the downloaded ZIP file is called “compression test.

1) Once the file is downloaded, open WinZip on your Android device, and look for the hamburger icon in the top left. Tapping this icon will open a menu on the left panel. Find and select ‘Storage.’

2) Locate the SD card that your ZIP file saved to. Unless you’ve customized your save settings, it should default to the ‘Download’ folder on your internal memory card.

3) Scroll through your folder until you locate the ZIP file, choose it, and select ‘Unzip’ from the bottom menu.
Steps 1-3 in opening ZIP files on Android

 

After selecting ‘Unzip,’ you’ll be prompted to find a location to save the components extracted from the ZIP file. We chose to make a new folder entirely to keep things organized:

4) Select where you’d like to save your new file-folder, whether it be on the device’s memory card or through synced cloud storage you may have previously set up.

5) Tap the ‘+’ in the top right corner of your save-location to create and name a new folder.Steps 4 and 5 in opening ZIP files on Android

 

7) Your new folder will save with the contents of your ZIP file in a folder of the same name.

8) Open that file and voila — you have access to those components, ready for you to save, share, and edit to your heart’s content!
Steps 7 and 8 in opening ZIP files on Android

 

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Part 2) Creating ZIP Files

How many times have you tried to email a batch of photos to a friend only for your phone to reject your request or crash entirely? The ability to compress a large number of files into one neat little ZIP file will eliminate that problem for good, and you can compress and send virtually anything: photos, videos, PDFs, mp3…if it saves, it sends!

For this example, we will be selecting a batch of photos to compress into a ZIP file and attach in an email:

1) Open WinZip on your Android device, and look for the hamburger icon in the top left.

2) Tapping this icon will open a menu on the left panel. Find and select ‘Photos.’ Locate the album containing the photos you want to send, open it, and tap the photos you wish to send.

3) Once you have chosen all of the image files you want to compress, select ‘Mail’ from the bottom menu.
Steps 1-3 in creating ZIP files on Android

 

4) After selecting ‘Mail,’ the application will compress the images into a .zip file. To show this, you’ll see the “Zipping” indicator load before prompting you to name your ZIP file.

5) Name your ZIP file. From here, if you have the full version of WinZip, you’ll have the chance to encrypt your ZIP file. Otherwise, tap ’OK’ to continue.
Steps 4 and 5 in creating ZIP files on Android

 

6) After naming your ZIP file, a 15-second ad will display. This advertisement will encourage you to upgrade to the full version of WinZip. Wait out the 15 seconds and tap ‘Continue Free’ to proceed with your email.

7) Select the method you wish to send the .zip file, whether you want to send it through an email client, social networking app, or if you’d like to save to your cloud storage. From that point, WinZip will transfer you to the selected application of your choice for you to save and send the ZIP file where you’d like.
Steps 6 and 7 in creating ZIP files on Android

Do you use a different app for ZIP files on your Android? Tell us about it in the comments below and we’ll put it to the test!

Plex

Playback and Stream Any Media with Plex

With the advent of plaforms like YouTube, Vimeo and Vine, there is no shortage of user-generated video content on the web. In fact, it is these services that have given way to the democratization of media with varieties of content coming from creators all over the globe. Whether a creator or a consumer of user-generated content, users today have the need for good media management software to keep everything organized and to provide instant access when needed. There are many media library software solutions out there that will indeed keep things organized and offer both playback and stream, but there are very few solutions that offer organization and playback across any device and platform. Plex offers the best of both worlds by making media playback and stream on virtually any platform or device possible, all while keeping things organized.

 

What is Plex?

Plex is a free multi-platform media management system that can stream playback of a user’s media library to almost every imaginable device, from a Chromecast to a Roku, iPhone, iPad or even an Apple TV. Plex consists of two main components: the Plex Media Server (to store, organize and stream media) and the Plex Client (To playback the stream from the server.) Although the Plex Media server software is free, the client apps for Android, and iPhone for example, cost a few dollars. The convenience and value the user receives is enormous when compared with the minimal investment of purchasing the client for payback on a favorite device. The Plex Media server can be installed on a wide range of platforms from Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD to NAS systems like QNap, Netgear, Synology and Drobo.

Plex Features

For a full list of Plex features, visit their features page here. Plex also offers a subscription-based service called the Plex Pass for a small fee. Plex Pass members receive access to the new features while they are still in their beta testing phase, giving users a chance to try out the latest and greatest from the Plex development team.

Download Plex

Downloads for Plex are available on their downloads page.

Plex Client Apps

Most Plex Apps for mobile or connected platforms are paid apps. These include:

  • Android
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Google TV
  • iOS
  • Roku
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Phone 8

 

Download Usenet Binaries on Android with Power NZB

In today’s connected world, almost everyone has a smartphone. They have become an almost extended part of our bodies and as such, we are demanding more and more from our mobile devices. From playing high-speed racing games, to checking the weather, to reading email – we truly carry the world’s most powerful tool right in our pockets. But did you know that your phone could download Usenet binaries?

Power NZB Usenet Download App for Android

That’s right! Using an Android smartphone or tablet, managing and downloading user-generated binaries from the Usenet can be easy and convenient! The Usenet apps available for Android range  from companion apps for client-side remote server management – where the Android app talks directly to a computer that downloads content from the Usenet – to fully-featured NZB download clients. The latter of which will search, download and extract binary Usenet content directly onto a mobile device making it ready for immediate use.

The best fully-featured Usenet download application we have found so far is Power NZB. With Power NZB, we can download and extract Usenet user-generated binary content directly to our Android device. The best part about Power NZB is that it is completely free, although donations to the developer are appreciated and will make further development of the app possible. Since the application is free, it’s a win-win all the way around! Visit the download page and simplify your Usenet downloading experience on Android.

Feature Rundown:

  • NewzNab search API built in.
  • Use the Webview to search various free NZB indexing sites.
  • Add NZB RSS feeds to always stay up-to-date and never miss favorite user-generated binaries.
  • The Par2 library lets us check and repair our downloads directly to our device, just like Quick Par. No more wasted downloads!
  • Easily and quickly extract multi-part RAR files. No need to use another file manager to extract your files. Even set downloads to auto-extract and delete!
  • Join split archives. No need to re-join on a PC! Power NZB will now auto-re-join binaries.
  • Slick built-in SAB client to manage PC downloads. No need for multiple apps!

Manage Usenet Downloads from Anywhere with SABMobile

Last week we showed how to download and manage all of those favorite NZBs using multi-batch downloading with SABnzbd. This week we take downloading with SABnzbd one step further and show you how to manage your Usenet downloads from anywhere with SABMobile. For those who want to queue new downloads on the go and have a SAB server cranking at home, this app is a total must-have.

What is SABMobile?

SABMobile is 3rd-party mobile management application for the SABnzbd web interface that runs on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. SABMobile allows for full management of the SABnzbd web console, allowing for RSS feeds to be added and read, NZB files to be uploaded and full download queue control with pause, resume and delete to remove NZBs when needed. One of the unique features, for those who are really concerned with security, is that SABMobile has an SSH option when adding a SABnzbd server so that if you are running a SAB server on a box with SSH, you can connect through a secure shell tunnel from anywhere on the web directly to your local server.

How do I setup a SAB server with SABMobile?

  1. Log into your local SABnzb server web UI
  2. Click Config > General and record Host IPPort and API Key
  3. Download, install and launch SABMoble
  4. Click Add Server
  5. Type in a Name for the server
  6. Enter the Server IP (This will be the LAN IP if accessing locally or WAN IP if accessing outside  home network) **If accessing outside LAN, a port will have to be mapped to local SAB server. 
  7. Turn ON/OFF API Key (Enter API Key if set to ON)
  8. Set SSL to ON/OFF depending on whether SAB server has SSL enabled
  9. Enable SSH Tunnel if SAB is being accessed via the outside web with secure shell
  10. Click Save.
  11. Tap on the Server Name to  Connect.  

Where Can I Get SABMobile?

SABMobile can be dowloaded here using any of the links on the developers website that match the mobile platform needed. This powerful app only costs $2.99 and works flawlessly.